RANCHO SANTA FE — As parents and students are readying for the first day of school Aug. 29 at R. Roger Rowe, new superintendent David Jaffe has officially taken the reins and is enjoying every minute of it.
Beginning his new position on Aug. 1, Jaffe described his first week as superintendent as the best professional week of his career.
“One of the things I was looking forward to was the opportunity to lead a school district in a small community. I wanted the opportunity to really get to know the families that I serve and get to work with a staff that’s proud of the place that they work,” Jaffe said.
Even though R. Roger Rowe is K-8, Jaffe has noticed how the people in the community have an element of pride likened to a high school.
“Being part of that is really exciting to me,” he said.
Jaffe shared that when overseeing a school and a district, he does so as both an educator and as a parent. Having two children of his own, Jaffe said he recognizes the challenges in raising children.
“I live it on a daily basis, so any time I meet with a family regardless of what the issue is — I can really put myself into their position,” he said.
With a new school year ahead of Jaffe, his initial goals will be to assess their current status, their academic programs, and then look for ways to grow the school and meet the needs of the kids to best prepare them for the next step in their schooling.
Jaffe also has plans to connect and enhance the relationship among the volunteers at the school.
“What the volunteers do for a school really helps define the strength of the school,” he said.
In Jaffe’s experience, the schools which have robust parent involvement generally have the most resources and offer staff great support.
A few weeks ago, the RSF School District commended Jaffe for welcoming former superintendent Lindy Delaney as being a special advisor to him for the next five months.
Jaffe said he is delighted to have Delaney on board to advise him on the culture of the district and the history of the decisions that were made. Jaffe views Delaney as a coaching role.
“I think this is invaluable to me and it provides me the best opportunity to really understand the community I’m working in,” he said. “I’m still the superintendent, and I’m the one going to be leading the district, but having Lindy’s history and helping me — I really appreciate it.”
Jaffe shared that when he first delved into his teaching career he made a comment to his mentor at the time. Jaffe told him one day he wanted to run a school.
“Now, I look at the trajectory of my career, and I’ve run schools, but now in this moment in time, I think I’ve realized that desired dream I had as a young man,” Jaffe said. “I’ve found it and I’m looking forward to it.”